The young people were supported at every stage by an outstanding and knowledgeable team of Services for Young People (SfYP) staff and volunteers. As well as navigation, compass and map-reading skills, the young people also learnt how to effectively pack a rucksack containing everything required for their overnight expedition, how to pitch a tent and how to cook a hot meal and drink on a Trangia stove.
The groups successfully navigated the Chilterns Hills footpaths using the detailed route cards they had prepared in their DofE project sessions. Throughout the day they had to alternate their clothing, from woolly hats in the snow to waterproofs and then sunscreen, before making it to West Hyde Young People’s Centre where they pitched their tents on the field and lit their stoves to prepare a well-earned meal.
The experience helped the young people to develop the skills needed to work effectively as part of a team; improving their communication skills, supporting each other, and learning how to take on board others’ views and negotiate to an agreed outcome – “Should we take this path or not?”
They are now prepared for their Qualifying Expedition at the end of May where they will navigate independently around the Ashridge and Ivinghoe areas of Buckinghamshire and camp for one night.
Comments from the young people at the end of the day
“I am very happy that I am able to know and understand the map and how the compass works!”
“I am very tired but happy tired… I never thought I could make it!”
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a fantastic opportunity for young people to do adventurous new things and learn new skills for life and work. As well as the expedition section there are sections for volunteering, physical activities and developing skills.
The primary purpose of SfYP DofE projects is to encourage vulnerable young people who would not normally participate in this award to get involved, with the support of SfYP Youth Workers. If you know a young person aged 14+ who might be interested in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, or any other SfYP youth work project, please get in contact with the relevant local SfYP team. Find full details in our Youth work projects for young people section.